Norton Priory Museum and Gardens, Runcorn, Cheshire

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Details

Accessibility

  •  Two designated disabled parking spaces in Norton Priory's main car park area , located approximately 100 metres from the Visitor Centre and Museum.
  • Additional disabled parking adjacent to the entrance of  Norton Priory's Georgian Walled Garden. (seasonal opening only - check with Visitor  Centre before travelling if intending to visit.)
  • As Norton Priory is a large site ( 47 acres) , with the main Priory site across a connecting overbridge (above A558) and access route to the Georgian Walled Garden , visitors with mobility impairments may wish to drive between the two areas of the site. 
  • Most of Norton Priory's attractions and facilities are accessible to disabled visitors including those with mobility impairments , wheelchair and mobility scooter users - with the exception of some areas for some visitors  (see further details below). 

Visitor Centre/ Museum: Follow the  signage from the car park, through Norton Priory's entrance gates along the designated (brick blockwork) pathway to the main entrance of the Visitor Centre/Museum. Level access to Visitor Centre/Museum. Entrance/exit  has a push/pull handle and incorporates top-bottom vision panels and opens outward towards pathway.

  • Visitor Centre/Museum  has a tiled floor which incorporates a large integrated rubberised door mat  within a retaining strip, just inside the main entrance/exit door.
  • Access by lift between ground and first floor. 
  • There is a paved courtyard adjacent to the Visitor Centre cafe, providing an outdoor seating area.

Medieval Undercroft and Ruins : There is a separate rear entrance/exit door from the Museum Gallery providing level access to the external pathway leading to/from the Medieval Undercroft and Ruins. 

  •  Medieval Undercroft has stepped access/egress - there is accessible access/egress  for wheelchairs via  a metal ramp over the side entrance/exit steps.  Take care  on the entrance/exit steps - steps are worn and uneven and metal ramp  at accessible entrance/exit may be slippery. Mobility scooters unfortunately are not permitted due to the preserved tiled floors in the Undercroft. 
  • Uneven stone and tiled floors in the Undercroft - take care for trip/slip hazards. 
  • The Undercroft has low light levels in some areas and some protruding stonework.
  • The Undercroft has low arched ceilings in some areas - take care where headroom is reduced.
  • Ruins - There are laid-out pathways to enable wheelchair users to view the Ruins safely in the outdoor area. As these are ancient ruins, there are trip/slip hazards present in this area and differing ground levels with some sloping terrain  and hidden hazards and grassy  or gravelled areas around the stone ruins. Take care in  poor weather which may make area muddy and slippery.   

Main visitor cafe (Brooke Cafe) and visitor centre toilets :   Adjacent to the Visitor Centre and Museum entrance/exit. Wheelchair accessible with level access. Adjoining outdoor sun terrace providing additional outdoor cafe seating area.

 Museum Garden: 

Follow the direction signage from the Visitor Centre/Museum  for the 'Woodland Garden', Herb Garden and Sculpture Trail. The Museum Gardens  have marked pathways which are wheelchair-accessible  Some areas of the Museum Gardens are steeper with stepped access only. Take care in poor weather in all areas of the gardens which may become slippery and muddy. 

Georgian Walled Garden:

There is  separate access to the Walled Garden for visitors. The main visitor entrance to the walled garden is approached by a short ramp on a gentle gradient with a handrail on the outer side; this entrance to the walled garden  is through a small cottage built along the garden wall which has  single low steps at its entrance and exit. 

Accessible access for wheelchair users to the Walled Garden  is to the side of the garden building through  a tall timber, double-doored gateway which open inward towards the garden. This has an adjacent  bell /intercom to contact Visitor Centre staff if assistance is required (nb: the position of the bell/intercom may not be easily accessible to wheelchair users). Take care as these doors are  tall and heavy. 

The Walled Garden has well-laid out pathways  which are level or on  gentle gradient; which are a mixture of gravel and brick  blockwork.

Take care in poor weather on all paths in and approaching the Walled Garden, which may become slippery and muddy. 

There is a small tearoom and toilet/baby change facilities (including wheelchair-accessible toilet) in the Walled Garden. There is one-step access to the tearoom; the tearoom also has an adjacent seating area on the flagged courtyard outside the building. 


Brief Description

Dating back 900 years to Norman times, Norton Priory is a former Augustinian Abbey which, since the 1970s,  is one of the most extensively archaeologically excavated in Europe.  It is a ‘Grade 1’ Listed Building and Scheduled Monument by Historic England. After the dissolution of the monasteries, the site of Norton Priory became the location first of a Tudor mansion house and later, a Georgian house which was finally demolished in the 1920s.

Norton Priory and its 47 acres of gardens and woodlands are now open to the public. The site includes:  the Abbey’s extensive medieval ruins; preserved Norman architecture; a modern museum containing many Norman and Tudor  relics and artefacts; lovely two and a half acre Georgian walled gardens; an orchard including the National Plant Collection of Tree Quinces and  a Wildflower meadow. Norton Priory is one of Cheshire’s ‘Gardens of Distinction’ and also a member of the National Gardens Scheme, holding annual open days with plant fairs under the scheme. 


Address

Norton Priory Museum and Gardens, Tudor Rd, Windmill Hill, Runcorn WA7 1SX

Email

Visitor enquiries can be emailed to Norton Priory using the 'Contact Us' link on the following page on Norton Priory's website:

 https://www.nortonpriory.org/visit.php

Or email: info@nortonpriory.org

Website

https://www.nortonpriory.org/

Directions

SAT NAV:  WA7 1SX or WA7 1BD

Norton Priory is just over 4 miles east of Runcorn town centre towards Daresbury and Warrington, Cheshire, off the A558 (Daresbury Express Way). For Norton Priory, follow the brown tourist direction signs on the A558 taking the turning towards Windmill Hill, then the second exit at the Manor Park Roundabout to Tudor Road. Continue along Tudor Road – the parking area for Norton Priory is just outside the signposted wrought iron entrance gates. 

Located approximately 7 miles south-west of Warrington  (via A56,A558) ; 18 miles south-east of Liverpool ( via M62, A5300, A562, A558); 19 miles north-west of Chester (via either A56, A558 or via M56, A56, A58)

If travelling from the North or South via the M6, leave  the motorway  at junction 20A for slip road onto M56 towards Chester, then leave at junction 11 and follow the directions as above. 


Opening Times

Always check with the venue directly for up-to-date information including opening times and admission charges as they may be subject to change. (Please note: as at November 2020, the venue is  currently closed due to Government COVID-19 restrictions. Please check Norton Priory's website for updates on when the venue is to reopen). 

Seasonal opening hours both for the Visitor Centre/Museum and for the Walled Garden which may also differ. 

Admission charges as at October 2020*: 

  • Adult  £10.45 
  • Child aged 4-16 years inclusive: £7.45
  • Concessions (Disabled visitors, students, age 65 years+) : £9.40
  • Carer : Free
  • Child under 3 years old: Free
  • Family Tickets (2 adults & up to 3 children) : £29.25 

 (* includes gift aid.)

By Rail:   Nearest railway stations to Norton Priory - Runcorn Station (approximately 4 miles)  and  Runcorn East Station  (approximately  2.5  miles). 

Runcorn Station - Intercity station on the West Coast Main Line operating train services to Liverpool,  Liverpool South Parkway (with connecting services on Merseyrail Northern Line), Chester, Crewe, Stafford and Birmingham. Station has step-free access with lift to both platforms. Manned station with waiting area, refreshments and disabled toilet available (operated by Radar Key).

Runcorn East Station - Local  train services to/from Warrington, Chester, Manchester and Leeds. Station is step-free; however ramp access to both platforms is on a steep gradient and there is only an overbridge connecting both platforms within the station. Station unmanned on Sundays. No toilets, refreshments or waiting room available. 

By Bus: Service no. 200  is a direct service to Norton Priory with  bus stops near to the entrance/exit of  Runcorn Station and Runcorn East Station and at Runcorn High Street. ( Approximately  every half hour Monday - Friday , journey time - 11 minutes). Plus-bus tickets can be used on bus services in Runcorn. 


Amenities

  • Free Visitor Parking, including disabled parking spaces for blue badge holders. 
  • Licenced Visitors'  Cafe, at the Visitors Centre, operated on behalf of Norton Priory by Halton Community Services -  selling drinks, snacks, breakfasts and lunches (including Norton Priory's own ice cream and craft beers produced on site). Support dogs are permitted with disabled visitors to the Cafe.
  • Tearoom in the Walled Garden. 
  • Ladies, Gents and Disabled toilets in both the Visitor Centre and the Walled Garden tearoom. 
  • Baby changing facilities.. 
  • Lift. access.
  • Wheelchairs available on loan to visitors.

Travel Information

For further travel information please see: www.traveline.info

Or call Traveline on 0871 200 22 33
(Calls cost 12p per minute plus your phone company's access charge)